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Handel: Italian Cantatas / Kozena, Minkowski


Release Date: 09/20/2000 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 469065   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Balázs MatéAnton SteckYann MirielMagdalena Kozená,   ... 
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Beginning in 1706 Handel famously--and fortunately--spent a fruitful four years in Italy during which he refined his composing craft and created an amazing catalog of works (some masterpieces) that for years afterward he cleverly mined for melodic material that he used in various operas and oratorios. Anyone who heard the premieres of the three cantatas featured here would have had no doubt that this was the work of a dramatic genius who also possessed a unique gift for melody that proved unequalled by most and surpassed by none. The subjects of these works--favored stories of myth and legend, lovers, heroes, and villains--are mostly irrelevant. It's the music and its dramatic setting and scope that counts--and Handel is the consummate Read more master, giving the sole singer, in this case Czech mezzo Magdalena Kožená, an enormously challenging, wide-ranging stage on which to play out her characters.

Kožená is terrific, her slightly quivering but eminently expressive voice supported by captivating theatrical technique. She nails the often difficult vocal passages while really giving us a sense of who is singing and what she is singing about, from the desperate lover in Delirio amoroso to the ravaged and doomed wife in La Lucrezia to the hopeless soul "playing with fire" in Tra le fiamme. Anyone familiar with Handel's vocal music will recognize--or at least think he recognizes--several of the arias, including "Per te lasciai la luce" from Delirio amoroso, which Kožená claims as her own in a breathtaking, heart-stopping performance. Other citations for outstanding performances must go to violinist Anton Steck (give this guy a recording contract!) and to Marc Minkowski and his Les Musiciens du Louvre for their ideal accompaniment in some very difficult and tricky music. My only criticism is the unnecessarily fast tempo in Kožená's final Delirio amoroso aria--a shade slower and she actually would sound in control and comfortable. The sound is just a bit covered, but it begins to bloom with a slight upward adjustment in volume.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Da quel giorno fatale, HWV 99 "Il delirio amoroso" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Balázs Maté (Cello), Anton Steck (Violin), Yann Miriel (Oboe),
Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano), Sébastien Marq (Recorder)
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1710; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Live  Olivier Messiaen Hall, Paris, France 
Length: 34 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
Oh numi eterni, HWV 145 "La Lucrezia" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Mirella Giardelli (Organ), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano), Michel Maldonado (Double Bass),
Jean-Louis Fiat (Bassoon), Juan Manuel Quintana (Bass Viola da gamba), Dolores Costoyas (Lute),
Pascal Monteilhet (Theorbo), Dolores Costoyas (Guitar), Balázs Maté (Cello),
Mirella Giardelli (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1709; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Live  Olivier Messiaen Hall, Paris, France 
Length: 17 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
Tra le fiamme, HWV 170 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano), Juan Manuel Quintana (Bass Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1999 
Venue:  Live  Olivier Messiaen Hall, Paris, France 
Length: 16 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Sonata (Introduzione)
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Recitativo "Da quel giorno fatale"
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Aria "Un pensiero voli in ciel"
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Recitativo "Ma fermati pensier"
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Aria "Per te lasciai la luce"
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Non ti bastava, ingrato
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Aria "Lascia omai"/Recitativo "Ma siamo"
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Entree
Il deliro amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale", HWV 99: Arietta e Recitativo "In queste amene piagge"
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Recitativo "O Numi eterni"
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Aria "Giů superbo del mio affanno"
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Recitativo "Mai voi, forse nel cielo"
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Aria "Il suol che preme"
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Recitativo "Ah! che ancor"/Furioso
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Arioso "Alla salma infedel"
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Recitativo "A voi, a voi padre"
La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145: Arioso "Giŕ nel seno"/Furioso
Il consiglio "Tra le fiamme", Cantata HWV 170: Aria "Tra le fiamme tu scherzi"/Recitativo
Il consiglio "Tra le fiamme", Cantata HWV 170: Aria "Pien di nuove"/Recitativo
Il consiglio "Tra le fiamme", Cantata HWV 170: Aria "Voli per l'aria"/Recitativo
Il consiglio "Tra le fiamme", Cantata HWV 170: Aria "Tra le fiamme" - Da capo/A

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